Original Research

Has mobile phone technology aided the growth of agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa?

Omotomiwa Adenubi, Omphile Temoso, Isiaka Abdulaleem
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 24, No 1 | a3744 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v24i1.3744 | © 2021 Omotomiwa Adenubi, Omphile Temoso, Isiaka Abdulaleem | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 June 2020 | Published: 25 November 2021

About the author(s)

Omotomiwa Adenubi, UNE Business School, University of New England, Armidale, Australia
Omphile Temoso, UNE Business School, University of New England, Armidale, Australia
Isiaka Abdulaleem, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom


Background: A recent increase in the adoption of mobile phone technology generated a great deal of interest and optimism regarding its effect on economic development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), particularly on the enhancement of agricultural development.

Aim: In this study the impact of mobile phone technology on agricultural productivity in SSA is examined.

Setting: The empirical assessment uses a panel data set covering 41 countries over a period of 25 years.

Methods: We employed an econometric approach and panel data covering 41 countries and a 25 year-period (1990–2014) to investigate the effect of the adoption of mobile phone technology and other socio-economic variables on agricultural total factor productivity (TFP). The use of regression analyses allowed us to estimate and measure the contribution of certain variables to agricultural TFP growth in SSA.

Results: The results show that the uptake of mobile phone technology had a positive effect on agricultural TFP growth in SSA.

Conclusion: Mobile phone technology has been established to be one of the drivers of agricultural productivity in SSA.

Implication: The implications of this study are that governments, NGOs, and businesses working on improving agricultural productivity and food security in SSA need to continue endorsing mobile technology as a means to improve agricultural productivity.


agriculture; SSA; mobile phone technology; total factor productivity; economic growth; population; agricultural productivity; technical efficiency


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